As I raked leaves this afternoon, I came upon some pinks, purples and blues amidst the yellows, oranges and browns. I was reminded of sweet little flower ‘deposits’ that I had noticed strewn around the church property a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t sure who had done this pretty work, but I figured it must’ve been my son and/or others of the regular church boys…. although it seemed kind of odd that they would do that. I later remembered that there had been a kids’ tennis camp on the property a few days prior, which had included a number of girls . ‘Ah, yes, that’s it!’ I felt sure it was they who had adorned the lawn so.
I think it’s fair to say that girls – female humans – are so much more into prettiness and visual pleasure than are their male counterparts. From a young age, we dress up our dolls, we decorate our bedrooms, we prettify ourselves and our children – and why? I reckon it’s because we want to please others – not in a submissive kind of way, but in a way that brings joy to others. Why? Because we want to connect with them. The older I get, the more life I live, the more I recognise and realise that, for women, it all* comes down to this: connecting with others.
An educator friend of mine recently shared on Facebook a study she’d read about, postulating that ‘under conditions of stress, the desire to affiliate with others is substantially more marked among females than among males’ – and that instead of the well-known ‘fight-or-flight’ theory, females usually react by ‘tending and befriending’. I love that secular science is observing this tendency, too!
Emanuel Swedenborg certainly observed this trait among women in his experiences in the other world. He wrote about it in Conjugial Love:
‘…Love cannot help but love and unite itself in order to be loved in return, this being the very essence and life of love. And women are born forms of love, while men – with whom they unite themselves in order to be loved in return – are receivers. Moreover, love is continually operative. It is like heat, flames and fire, which die if they are prevented from operating.’ (160)
Swedenborg refers to this female desire to conjoin as primarily with men, but I would take it a step further and say that women want to conjoin with everyone, men and women alike (but with men only, when it comes to marriage and conjugial love).
It’s fun to notice the ways in which this tendency plays out, even amongst the younger of our fairer sex. It must be astounding to watch us all in action, knowing and understanding the big picture, from the Lord’s point of view…
*That was a vast generalisation, I know. There’s much more to us than just connecting with others! -And our desire to connect with others varies by day, and by person: some of us are more driven by connection than others. Overall, I think we women are generally pulled in that direction.